EIS Survey Finds that 70% of Teachers feel Stressed Frequently or all of the time

Created on: 17 Dec 2021 | Last modified: 20 Dec 2021

A major survey of teachers by the EIS has found that the Health & Wellbeing of Scotland’s teachers is being put at risk by the current circumstances in which they are working.

Survey returns confirm that 70% of teachers report that they experience stress as a result of their current working environment either ‘frequently’ or ‘all of the time’. The EIS report is based on the views of more than 16,000 teachers across Scotland who responded to an online survey in November.

The key Health & Wellbeing related findings of the EIS survey include:

  • 70% of teachers feel stressed in their job either frequently (48%) or all of the time (22%)

  • Only 11% of teachers have not needed to seek help for stress at work

  • However, only 15% have sought this help via their school (12%) or local authority employer (3%)

  • The vast majority of teachers seeking to manage stress have done so on their own (73%)

  • Half of all teachers (50%) describe their level of wellbeing at work as ‘very poor’ (13%) or ‘poor’ (37%)

  • The majority of teachers (59%) say they would not recommend teaching as a career to other people.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The Health & Wellbeing returns from our national survey of teachers make for very worrying reading. Teachers have a demanding job which, coupled with the additional strains of teaching during the pandemic, is placing severe stress on our members right across Scotland. The fact that 7 out 10 teachers feel stressed either frequently or all of the time at work is a huge cause for concern. International research has shown that teacher well-being is a pre-requisite for pupil well-being and effective teaching and learning.

“It is also evident that adequate support for teachers suffering from stress simply isn’t there, with the vast majority of teachers seeking to manage this without the support of their employer. It is also very telling that almost 60% of teachers would not currently recommend teaching as a career.

“The Scottish Government and COSLA have clearly stated that we need more teachers in our classrooms to support education recovery – but this will be extremely difficult to achieve in the current climate, where teachers are over-worked, under-supported and being offered a real-terms pay cut. These survey results send a very clear message, which must be heeded by local authorities and the Scottish Government.”